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Writing Tips

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  1. Writing Tips From Dr. Steven Van Zoost

  2. Essay Introductions(they are short, and designed to interest the reader) • Anecdote – a brief story, usually of a humorous or dramatic incident • Quotation or Allusion – the words of a philosopher, etc., to break the ice. • Sense Images – vivid descriptions • A striking comparison or contrast – showing how things are like or unlike each other • A poem • Narrative – telling a story upon which the writing is based • Unusual or puzzling statement – such an opening appeals to the reader’s curiosity • Figures of speech – a striking metaphor, simile, or personification, etc.

  3. The Body(you may use more than one form at a time – let the topic choose the form) • Narration – from first event to last, tell a story • Example – give in-depth example, or several short that explain the point (personal experience, experience of others, what if…, quotes, statistics) • Description – recreate a vivid experience with a point • Cause and effect – explain by showing how one situation causes another • Comparison and contrast – explain by showing a likeness or unlikeness • Analogy – in comparing, use one to explain the other • Classification – parts of your subject fitted into categories • Process analysis – show how something happens or is done • Extended Definition – explain your topic in detail what it is

  4. The Closing(tells the reader that you have not just run out of time or ideas, but that you’ve chosen to stop here) • Reference to the opening • Contrast or reversal – ironic device exploits the dramatic • Quotation – prose or poetry • Question – for the reader to answer • Transition signals – words, phrases, or sentences of transition commonly signal the closing • Revealing the significance – showing implications or importance of the subject • Summary – make sure it’s short • Conclusion – the drawing of a conclusion from the discussion in the essay • Prediction – a look at the subject’s future

  5. Pointers • Outline, yes, but leave room for creative and exploring and writing • Do more than one draft. Replace weak words with strong, vague with exact • Writing is not speaking – follow all the rules • Long, big words aren’t better, remembering that your reader is your alli, not your enemy • We like to write, starting is hard • Write for communication to others, always write about something that matters to you • Keep ONE topic – a thesis statement – one message • Remember who you’re writing for

  6. After the writing… • If you suspect something is bad, scrap it or change it • If your best efforts will not improve a stubborn passage, scrap it and begin again • If something is highly emotional, it might fall apart when looked upon with reason • Reread out loud • Proofread slowly • Leave time between writing, rewriting, editing, and proofreading – it helps to pick it apart